There is a song that plays on our contemporary Christian radio station often. Maybe you've heard it, maybe not. Here is the chorus of that song:
This is only a mountain,
You don't have to find your way around it,
Tell it to move, it'll move
Tell it to fall, it'll fall.
... Just a little bit of faith can change it all.
I completely get the points of this song: with God all things are possible and even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. I get it and agree with those truths. But something about that song doesn't sit right with me.
There are mountains in our paths and God can move them if He wishes. But sometimes He doesn't wish it - sometimes we are meant to scale the rough terrain and endure extreme conditions. Sometimes He won't move the mountain because we are meant to climb it.
This song always makes me think of the book, Hinds' Feet in High Places. In this allegorical story the main character, Much-Afraid (so fitting, isn't it?), is led by the Shepherd through many difficult circumstances and surroundings so that she can develop her "feet" and make her way to the High Places. That seems like a much more accurate picture of what God wants for us many times.
What if He doesn't want to move mountains because that's not what is best for us? What if the difficulty of navigating jagged cliffs and snowy peaks will build far stronger character than a stroll in the park on a lovely spring day? And what if our struggle on the mountain leads us to the Rock that is higher than we are?
Yes, sometimes God moves mountains and we are thankful, ever so thankful for those miracles. But sometimes He doesn't. And we can be thankful for those too.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls -
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength.
He will make my feet like deer's feet,
And He will make me walk on the high places.